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Post Parole Supervision In Texas

Parole Law Blog by The Law Office of Greg Tsioros

Post Parole Supervision In Texas

Parole is a unique opportunity for some Texas prison inmates to avoid spending the remainder of their sentences behind bars. This chance at freedom is not granted to just anyone, however. To be eligible for parole, inmates must meet specific criteria and abide by the most rigid of standards if they want to avoid going back to jail. 

If you or someone you love is currently serving time in prison, you might wonder what the requirements are for parole. You could pursue the parole process more confidently by learning when it is granted to inmates and under what circumstances parolees could find themselves back in prison to serve out the rest of their sentences. 

What is Parole?

Parole is the release of an inmate from prison to serve out the remainder of his or her sentence in the community. It is a type of conditional release that requires inmates to live by a strict code of conduct. If the parolee violates these rules, he or she could be sent back to prison to serve out the remainder of his or her sentence behind bars.

Parole is not typically granted to offenders who are considered to be especially dangerous to society. These offenders include those who:

  • Have committed violent crimes like murder
  • Are serving time for felony sexual assault
  • Committed sexual offenses against children
  • Are repeat or career criminals

Eligibility for parole depends on a variety of factors including where the potential parolee’s offense took place, if the crime occurred in a drug-free zone, and if violent crime was involved. Prisoners also may be eligible to request parole if they have served out at least 25 percent of their original sentences.

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Requesting Parole from the Texas State Parole Board

People serving time in Texas state prisons are reviewed for parole by the state’s parole board. The review process for parole is nothing like what is depicted on TV or in movies. It is actually a complex process that can be difficult to navigate without the help of a skilled parole lawyer.

Regardless, the parole board will review a prisoner’s eligibility for parole six months before he or she is actually up for parole. At this time, the parole board will receive the prisoner’s files from his or her arrest and time in prison. The prisoner will then be notified about the review and interviewed by the board.

During the parole hearing, victims of the offender will have the chance to make statements before the members of the board. The inmate himself or herself does not have the right to appear before the board, however. Three of the board members will then vote yes or no to grant parole to the inmate. If at least two members vote yes, the offender is granted parole.

Along with victim impact statements, the parole board before voting will also take into consideration factors like the inmate’s:

  • Participation in therapy
  • Life skills testing
  • Participation in drug and alcohol education courses
  • Participation in sex offenders rehabilitation 

Once the board members have voted, they then must notify the inmate in writing. They are not obliged to give a detailed explanation for they voted no if parole is denied.

Requirements for Inmates Out on Parole

Inmates that have been given parole and released from prison are required to abide by strict rules while serving out the rest of their sentences. Among others, they must:

  • Keep a steady residence and job
  • Avoid committing and being arrested for new crimes
  • Avoid using drugs and alcohol
  • Avoid contact with his or her victims
  • Stay within the geographical area defined by his or her parole supervisor

Parolees also must meet on a regular basis with their parole supervisors and submit to random drug and alcohol tests. They do not have the right to refuse testing for drug or alcohol use while out on parole.

They also must submit to surprise visits by their supervisors to their homes. These surprise visits ensure they are not breaking any of the parole rules like using illegal drugs or drinking alcohol. If they are found to be in violation of any of these rules, they could be arrested and sent back to prison to serve out the rest of their time. 

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Why Hire an Attorney

Navigating the Texas parole process can be complex under the best of circumstances. Even if you understand the basics of parole in the state, chances are you may not understand some of the finer points that can make all of the difference in whether or not you are granted parole. Rather than risk your chances on your own limited understanding, you may want to improve your case by hiring a skilled parole lawyer.

Your attorney will know what the state’s parole board is looking for while considering your case. He or she can obtain statements from:

  • Your former employers to prove what vocational skills you have
  • Doctors and psychologists to verify your readiness to rejoin society
  • Family members pledging their support to you after you get parole

Your lawyer can also highlight the good behavior you exhibited while serving time in prison, showing you have done your best to reform your life and avoid your old habits.

Having a good attorney on retainer, while not guaranteeing you will be granted parole, can vastly improve your chances before the board. You will be represented as a real person rather than a number in the justice system. Your lawyer may be able to downplay the victims’ statements and prove that you are more than ready to become a productive member of society.

When you are up for parole, you should hire a lawyer immediately to represent you. Your lawyer can start making the case for why you should be granted early release and allowed to serve out your time in the community.

You do not want to waste your chance to be granted parole in Texas. By hiring a skilled lawyer to represent you, you could improve the likelihood of you being released. You can then avoid going back to prison by living by the code of stringent conduct for parolees in Texas.

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